Holiday!!....

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all family, friends and fellow bloggers!!!!

Won't be around up till after the New Year... so I will only be able to respond to your comments next year.... will be somewhere far from Singapore and Malaysia.. hehe.. so enjoy yourselves and have a good year end!

Where am I going? Take a guess..

Picture perfect..



Just got my company ID card and can't help but recall what happened during the photo shoot for the card..

When we first came in, there was a request for us to hop over to a branch office to get our pictures taken. Being new, you'd normally just follow instructions, so we made our way to the branch office and went to this room where a nice uncle was supposed to do a photo shoot for out IDs... A few colleagues went first, and uneventfully had their photos taken. Then, there was this guy who was a little concerned of his looks, went up to the cameraman and took a look at his photo, then asked for a retake. I was the last in line, and considering that it was a digital camera, I reckoned that theres no harm in taking more than one pic.

So my turn came finally, I went in and nonchalantly stood there like a stick ready for the photo shoot.

'Click'.. and the uncle said "One more time... no eye".. its pretty normal to squint a little considering that the flash was a bit too bright.

'Click'... "Again...still no eye".. I thought to myself, "Eh better keep the eyes open la"..and told the uncle to retake.

'Click'.. "Still no eye leh". Deep inside I was applauding the uncle for his patience.

This time I was convinced that I'd have 'eye'. After all, this was the fourth shot... and enough was enough.. so, I opened my eyes really wide.. and 'Click'.. "Funny leh...no eye".. Aaarrrggghhh..

"One more time uncle, this time sure ok wan"... 'Click'.. "No eye leh"..

'Click'.. '"No eye"..

'Click'.. '"No eye"..

Finally... 'Click'... "Ah this one ok la... got a bit of eye"...and that is the photo in my ID card..

Driving School..

You guys have probably seen this clip like a million times, but it makes me laugh at how well it portrays reality..

Well, a few buddies of mine were just discussing on the topic of drivers in Singapore and how they behave on the road. It all started with the comment that I made regarding a driver who signalled right and turned left, and another who signalled right and then left and went straight.

The conversation went on with what we saw as the most common behavior of drivers here, and we came to a conclusion that whenever a driver sees a vehicle signalling to turn right or left, he will accelerate to prevent the vehicle from turning. On the other hand, if you didn't signal, they won't accelerate. Which means that you could either a) Don't signal and turn and get horned for turning or b) Signal and watch the vehicle beside you accelerate. Don't believe me? Try it on any Singapore road..

Then we proceeded to discuss on drivers who didn't know how to use their right or left turn signals. Some drivers seem to not know how to differentiate left from right. They signal right, you think its safe to go on straight, and you see them inching towards the left.. wonder who taught them directions in school. A better scenario was when a driver decided to turn. Instead of signalling, the only thing that moved was her windscreen wiper! Scary man...

Then there are the road hoggers. More and more of these species seems to blossom these days. They inch their way to the fast lane, and drive at 40kmph.. and you'd think that they intend to turn out somewhere, but noooo... they're going straight.. all the way straight at 40kmph at a 70kmph road. Maybe they have some sight problem that makes the 7 look like a 4... or maybe they're just darn daft..

That being said, this is not a gender biased post..I have removed all instances of 'lady' in front of the word 'driver'...

Sick, ugly, disgusting people..

I wonder if it has something to do with astrological signs or the weather or some omen, but lately, I have been meeting up with lots of sick, ugly and disgusting people. I'm not referring to looks per say, but the really ugly side of people; their actions.

Just last week, after office hours, we were heading back to the office carpark to get my car, when the security officer told us that we cannot use the carpark entrance and had to detour to use the other entrance because his supervisor said so. I mean, my car is 5 mins walk from the entrance, and going the detour would be to turn one huge round, go inside the compound, take a lift downstairs to the other side of the carpark and get my car. So told him I was working in the building, showed him my working pass and asked if I can use the entrance. His answer was "no, my boss say no one can use". Wanting to get an explanation, I asked him why? and his reponse was "To stop you damn idiots from using this entrance!". That drew the line. I told him it was inappropriate to use such language, and he responded by showing me his security pass and saying "You want to complain complain la. At most kana fire only ma, I got cert wan. Nah, take my number la". I took down his name and ID, walk to the other entrance and left the building. I have since lodged a complaint and am waiting for action to be taken, if those people get to doing anything at all.

Just this morning, as I was preparing for work and after taking a shower, I got out of the restroom and caught the other tenant of the HDB unit I was staying in sneaking out of my room. In the panic of being caught, the only excuse she could come up with was that she heard a ringing sound from my room. I mean, what is your business to sneak in my room even if there's a ringing sound? Then the story changed to her hearing her rabbit in my room. I gave her a stern warning against going into my room and reminded her that people break in to other peoples rooms to steal things. Then, because I was hurrying for work, I went in the room and continued to prepare for work. When I got out, she apologised and gave yet another excuse. She said she just woke up from a dream that her rabbit was in my room, got into my room to check, then came out. I mean, what worse lies can you make? I am planning to set a webcam on 24 hours to make sure that nothing is stolen from my room.

Can't these people just understand simple courtesy and respect others? Do I need to lock the door everytime I use the restroom? Can't people explain on the rationale on why they do things without using foul and demeaning language? I really don't understand whats wrong with these people....sigh..

Memorable Places..

In case you're wondering if you got into the wrong website, yep this IS Phenom's blog. Wanted to give the old website a facelift.. so I spent hours dabbling with the html code, just to come up with a simple layout like this.

Well, today's post is on memorable places. Ever moved on to a new place and missed the smallest, most minute thing like a coffee shop or an arcade joint? There is always a place in every stage of life that I can remember of ... like the arcade beside Chao Yang in SS2, where we had our first Street Fighter 1 game; Rasa Sayang, where we got caught for being underage in the arcade; reservoir in DU introduced by CU, where ...hehe.. ; field opposite SMSAS, where we had Duel Masters' fights every morning before going for classes; Grandy's where we had BM study groups before SPM; Cyber cafe in Bangsar, where we had our competitions on the max number of hits we could make in an hour; McD near Puduraya, where we had a sweet on a stick; and so many more places that making a list would go on forever...

Everytime we move on to a new place, there seems to be something in the old place that brings back some good memories. But we never seem to appreciate the finer side of things while we were there. When it's gone, it might be a little late to reminisce. So, looking ahead, I guess I should start appreciating the things I have now... like 'Rendang Corner'....

A few steps away from the place I'm working now is a place that is kinda cozy and the people are kinda nice.. probably due to the coffee. Past one corner and you'd see the street name sign below....

I guess its a sign to tell us that the 'goreng pisang' (or 'keng cheow') is ready.. and that we should be on our way there... wonder who comes up with these kind of street names though.





After a couple of steps, turning right into an adjoining lane is the next street, which is appropriately named as....



(Are those guys serious?)



And well, if you get past wondering how they named the streets, then you'd eventually reach.....RENDANG CORNER!!!

This is where most of our problems and worries are dissolved... where we have our most important dose of caffein and most of all, where the new and old guys all bond.. (dun think dirty ah.. )

So, years down the line, when I look back and I am no longer in the job I am in now, I will still be able to find a post of this place in this blog... (Dunno why today sooo crappy.. must be lack of caffein..hehe)..

Travelling..

Just back from kl after attending a bugdy's wedding.. Got in to the office early today, so thought I'd just pen some random thoughts on some things that crossed my mind..

Was an interesting trip all in all, and considering that I have been well rested after switching to my new job, this was something a little different. As usual, going back to kl is a chore; getting a bus ticket, making sure the car has sufficient petrol when I get back from kl, getting gifts, packing up.. that just filled my Friday evening up to the brim and when I finally was ready, I had half an hour to get to the bus station for departure. Lucky for me, the single seater beside my seat was not taken. And I hopped over and had a nice comfortable trip back.

Going back to Singapore is an entirely different experience. No single seater, had an aunty and her two aunty friends sitting beside me going "ah boy ah.. blanket hai pin tou ah, ah boy ah.... toilet hai pin tou ah". By the fifth "ah boy ah.." I had to pretend that I was asleep. And there was this 'niang niang chiang' guy talking on the phone behind me in cantonese... he was talking so loud and uttering so much obscenities, I wished for that moment that I didn't know cantonese. The guy beside him didn't seem to mind though, or obviously, he didn't know cantonese.

Finally, when I got back, it felt really nice... took a nice hot bath and got to bed..

Guests...102



I remember writing a post on guests with some animal pics.... well, back then, the bug was still available... tomorrow, I'll be travelling back to my hometown to go for the bug's big day. Somehow, I just feel glad that he is tying the knot... not that I can finally get rid of him, but the bug needs someone to make sure he collects enough corn for the winter.. I guess this time, the bug got hitched with a nice ladybug, one that appreciates anime and watches inuyasha..


The chicken who was awol the other time, will continue to be awol this time... no worries.. we all know he is tending to his baby chick and probably playing magic with ah sou in Taiping.. but the next time we meet... the chicken better be ready with the chick and six decks of Timespiral Block constructed... wonder if married bug will do better than single bug...


The bunny thought it was a trend to go awol, and decided to go awol after reading some comments on the cbox..

The old bug...


Whilst having breakfast with some colleagues this morning, we were visited by an old friend.. one that was crawling on the wall right beside where we our food was.. instinctively, we got up and out and decided to shift to somewhere else... conversation on the topic of our old friend, better known as 'the roach' started off with us confiding that we were all afraid of roaches..
Recalling an incident, a colleague mentioned that he once had a visit from our flying friend whilst having a bath... then another colleague mentioned that the HDB void deck was a frequent flyer congregation joint..
I distinctively remembered, during schooling days, having a roach climb into my shoe...and having it removed only two hours later at school when I felt something prickly under the sole of my feet.. that old bug probably suffocated under the pressure or smell of my socks..
So, it isn't that bad that everyone was in a way or two affected by the bug.. we even had some time to discuss on effective ways of removal of our friend...
SO if you're out there and have a fear of roaches... don't worry, you are not alone..

Good Days...

Got an e-mail this morning from one of my former bosses with a joke and a note that read "Just wanted to keep in touch with you" or something like that. Just ringed a bell that I haven't spent much time contacting my buddies from my previous company... well, moving to a new place is what most people would want, considering that the grass looks greener on the other side, but there are things that you'd have to give up each and every time you move.
One of those things are buddies and friends. Well, just yesterday, my other half asked if I kept in touch with a friend.. and it caught me that, apart from some morning e-mails that didn't last five seconds, I really haven't heard from most of my buddies!... or put it another way, they probably haven't heard from me! I do miss them though... wonderful guys and girls whose priceless conversations and jokes were nothing short of being memorable. Well, I know they know this is not the last they will see from me, but keeping that in mind, I guess I'll start sending some e-mails or calling up some colleagues and friends when I have the time...
Lastly, guys and girls, whoever you are, if you're reading this, don't just sit there! Start writing! hehehe...

Eek... Black Cloud!...

Last Saturday was one of those days, when you get up on the wrong side of the bed and realise that a cloud hangs above you.

First, a wonderful colleague gives me a call early in the morning before I woke up to tell me that my name is in the first page of the Straits Times for commiting a crime and that I should get a copy of the newspapers. Not that I am guilty or something, but I went down to the shop just to get a copy of the papers, just in case. After reading the front page, I realised that my colleague had a reading problem and that he didn't realise that my name is not Tan Tun Jin! (Apologies Steven....for the newspaper cutting I sent years ago..)

In the process of getting the paper however, I was blocked by this lady carrying a baby. When I moved left, she moved left, when I moved right, she moved right... It was only when she said "Hoi" that I realise that she was my ex-classmate.. blur... had a brief chat and just as I headed up the steps, her hubby sms'es me to tell me that I received a parking fine... After getting the newspapers, I got to the car and drove out. Being distraught over the days happenings, I almost crossed a red light but managed to brake just in time. Got a headache that afternoon and decided to swallow some panadol and sleep the day off...


On the flip side, managed to catch Jewel in the Palace though... which was a ray of light in the cloud..

Snake Eater....not the ps2 guy..


When people make a comment like "kia lai kia ke ah?" when they see me, I usually get flustered and feel insulted. The statement meant 'loitering around' which indirectly hinted that you were 'eating snake' or 'lazing from work'. Now, in my new company, 'eating snake' takes a whole new perspective.
Firstly, we have defined a fixed schedule of which we should eat parts of the snake at different time schedules, once at 10.30am and another at 3.00pm. This part of the snake is actually quite important in that we have an opportunity to build relationships over a nice cup of hot tea.
Of course, there are impromptu 'snake eating' activities throughout the day.. these events happen once in a blue moon and are called 'attending courses'. Of course then, it would be better to choose correct parts of a snake to eat... coz eating a wrong part may cause indigestion and require you to do something called 'work' or 'present your findings'.
Then there are those little snakes called 'discussions', which you make an instant cup of coffee or tea and have small talks over menial issues to resolve and decide what are defined as good and bad snakes.
Just last week, we had some colleagues complaining just how bad the snakes they ate were. Until they realise that there is no good point to eating bad snakes, these people would probably continue eating bad snakes.
Ok now you know I'm damned bored.. plus I have a viral infection which is probably affecting my brain...haha
Gotta go for the next session... it's 3.30pm!

Geocities is out...

So I have to store images here.. aiks..

'Fai chai choong geh fai chai'... direct translated, 'retarded stick of retarded sticks'










This probably fits into my top ten list of most excruciating moments of my working life!... It is quite common for organisations to hire consultants and specialists to guide them on new initiatives.. this week was one of those weeks where my company had hired a specialist to give us a talk on 'the way forward' and what we were supposed to do to progress in our field of work. So, they arranged a 2 day session in which the 'consultant' who graduated from Harvard and had a long list of accolades to share his experiences and give us some guidance on his expert topic.
On the first day of his lecture, he started off with some background material which we thought were basic but would probably last for just a few slides before we went into material proper. The next few slides were again of the same basic material which consisted of general statement on what we were doing. Giving the 'consultant' the benefit of doubt, we listened on, hoping that we would get some information that would help us on what we were doing. An hour passed, and he was still going on and on repeating the same basic material which had no substance and not even the inkling of knowledge of which a person of his stature would have. Two hours passed, an he was still talking about things which everyone, including those that have just joined the company, knew. Four hours later, and after a long day of going through what seemed to be an english literature lesson rather than a seminar from a professional, he changed the topic. While everyone was hoping that the seminar would finally start with some good material, he went on talking about a topic which was totally unrelated to what we are doing. Seems like his strategy was to speak profusely and incoherently, confuse everyone and hope that no one would notice. Everytime someone made an query, he would answer with a 'yes, I totally agree' or 'thank you, thats a very good point'. And every sentence seemed to start of with 'I don't know much about this' or 'I don't know anything about this'. The half day session ended with everyone wondering what we would be exposed to the following day.
Day 2. After sitting through day 1, it felt as though higher management had given up and decided to dissapear from the talk. Less than half the management that came for day 1 turned up. Wonder if it is due to work responsibilities. This time it was a little different. When I say a little, I really mean 'a little'! The expert drew the same things he drew on day 1, spoke the same stuff he did in day 1, and continued on and on like there was no tomorrow and his life depended on it. Half the people in the room were asleep this time. And he had the audacity to make sarcastic comments like, 'I hope the back people are all tested on this'. Basically, as one of my buddies put it, the entire day could probably be summarised into 3 words. Well, its a skill for him to be able to talk about 3 words for 3 days! It's like a bloody 1 word per day! I told a buddy that the only thing that I probably gained from the entire lecture is a flowchart which looked pretty good, which I could use as a template for my future slides. He had probably 20 odd slides to go before the end of the day, and with one sentence, ' you guys could probably read this yourself', he teleported his presentation to the last page and ended his presentation.
Day 3. This time, even at the beginning of the morning, most attendees were asleep. Not that I was asleep. I was just in deep thought. It was a half day session, and foreseeing that this was the last day of torture, most of us were glad that this is ending soon. He started off with some material, and a few guys actually raised some questions. This is an example of how it went;
------------
Attendee: I would like to ask if you could share your experience on how to make noodles.
Torturer: Lets see, noodles is in this book and here it is, the definition of noodles is a flour like material, and I'm not good at noodles. You may consider making pasta, and if you like rice, you can also make nasi lemak instead of noodles. Alternatively, if you don't like food, you can go fishing. Now where were we...
Attendee and entire lecture hall: *Blur*
-----------
Half way through, i was restraining myself and getting help from the person beside me to prevent me from going to the front and hitting him. Its a miracle that organisations pay tons of money to engage such @#&^%% (I can't even describe them) to give talks and lectures. I have been through so many talks by local experts and they are so much better and give better insight to their topic of interest. This kinda guy, I seriously wonder if he payed his way through Harvard.

We are queueing for...?









Went for the NATAS Travel Fair at the Expo last Saturday. Getting advice from the local newspapers, we decided to head there at 9am in the morning to beat the crowd and have early breakfast. The travel fair was scheduled to open at 10am, and we reached on time, got a parking space within the Expo carpark and had our breakfast. We chatted a little, and when we finished breakfast, going through the newspapers and some idle chat, we realised that some people were already queueing at the ticket stands at about 930am. We joined the queue at about 945am and waited till 10am when they started selling the entrance tickets. We got in, went to the booth of the tour agent we intended to book the trip from, and got our tickets to Switzerland and Italy. As payment was made by credit card, certain gifts or freebies could be collected based on the credit card used. We proceeded to the redemption booth to get the freebies, which consisted of some travel bags. Just then, there was a sign placed at one of the booths for free tote bags, if you flash a certain credit card. The time was 11.00am and the guy at the booth indicated that the bags would be given out at 11.30am. At about 11.10am, a queue started forming at the tote bag counter. The queue got longer and longer, spilling over to the next area. At about 11.30am, I overheard the guy at the booth mentioning to his colleague, "It's not my fault, they started queueing themselves!".. and later on at about 11.45am, "Look at the queue, and the bags only arrived 5 mins ago!".. at about 12.00pm, everyone got their tote bags, and you could see the dissapointment in their faces when they found out that they were queueing for almost an hour for a small canvas bag... hahaha...

The thing with tea and management..

Ever wondered why every company has tea sessions where those that just join the company has tea with the senior management? And those tea sessions may probably be the only time you see the head or CEO or director. That is of course unless you're someone prominent or your work revolves around the management. Went for a tea session today, sometime after lunch. Before we reached there, I told my colleagues that the plan was to hide at one corner, make ourselves unnoticable, have some tea, and call it a day.
The plan was going very well, and management, as usual would turn up a little later, after everyone had time to settle down. Staying in the corner, at that time, seemed like a good idea. And as our big boss made his way through the door, I heaved a sigh of relief as he seemed to be headed another direction. Just then, he turns, faces us and walks to the wierd corner he wasn't supposed to. And the first group he meets, well, you guess it... it's us.
Actually, having conversation with your big boss isn't all that bad, especially when he doesn't really have much time but has to cover all new staff. We had our share of small talk with him, and a group of 'senior management' inches their way near him. he gets the hint, completes the conversation with a polite gesture, turns and faces them to continue a second round of conversation.
Some people tend to think that tea sessions are meant for the potential or gifted people to showcase their ability to converse and to impress the big boss. Me, I'm happy to have a nice cup of coffee, some casual conversation and a good break...hehe

Staying healthy 101...


Every weekend, me and my other half would make our way to a local stadium to jog... well, we skipped 3 weeks of jogging due to some personal matters, but well, we do try to keep up a routine. The previous time we were there, we set a target at 6 consecutive rounds without stopping. And seeing that we had previously made 5 rounds without breaking much of a sweat, 6 rounds wasn't much of a problem. This time though, it was a different. Breaking for 3 weeks is definitely taking its toll. One, age is catching up; Two, legs have not been moving much the past 3 weeks; Three, it's a Saturday...and I feel like sleeping la...
So we went ahead, this time setting a target of 7 rounds... by round 2, we were panting profusely...legs giving way, heartbeat unstable, sweat dripping.. by round 3, we were walking back to the stands to get water... I guess we will be less ambitious next week... maybe 3.5 rounds?
After the jog, we saw a guy walking up and down a staircase. Looking at the signboard, it was an uphill track up small Guilin. Seeing that we didn't want to continue the jog, we decided to brave the track. We saw a couple, in their 40s probably, climbing up the track, and so we followed closely behind, dodging trees and avoiding slippery steps.. and after half an hour of climbing, through toil and sweat, we were rewarded by the sight of a sign which read "lookout 3". We went to the lookout, and it was rewarding, standing there enjoying the breeze, looking down at the hill side and lake.... feels like a mini holiday..
But I have to say that the sight of a bunch of older folk exercising at the same lookout did throw off part of the fun... my god, how did these older folk actually get up here?!...

Excess? left-over? redundant? what's that word again?

It's one of those days, when I wonder what the heck am I doing here! I mean, seriously, have you felt like this when you're at work? Was at my bosses office today discussion on what I'm supposed to do. I'm not kidding, we were discussing 'what I'm supposed to do'. Can't blame the organisation, I'm only here for a month or so, and being relatively new, it's obvious that people won't trust you with major tasks or things that have implications. For my case, honeymoon is getting a little too long.
Back to the discussion. A month ago, I would give anything to just be able to get home a little earlier and catch some sleep. Sometimes, while rushing tender, I have to stay back till 9pm or so.....which is an improvement considering that I used to stay up to 3am in my past department. But, as age catches up, you can just feel the efficiency drop the moment you loose sleep. A month later, after the job change, I'm sitting at my cubicle at 6.00pm looking at all my colleagues go home one after another... 6.00pm! But seriously, sian la, the whole day nua... beh tahan leh... hehehe

work...work work work work...

Work... work work.. wonder what I'm going to do at work today... kinda got you conned that I was going to say I had too much work right? hehehe.. I guess being in a policy makers seat does have its advantage... first, you get to decide what you want to do... then you set the targets in accordance to what you think you can do, and then you do it. If it does not meet your targets, then shift the target or misinterpret your own original intention by playing with language and .. there you have it!... we have reached our targets!!!
And if all else fails, you can always turn around, and do this to the critics...




..........................................................................

Whiner..

Sometimes I really wonder why I whine so much. Actually, I wonder more why my buddies and friends bother to come to this website and hear me whine. I mean, things always seem to be alright or fine. Everyone seems to be nice and kind. My company pays well and does lots of things for us. Logically speaking, I should be thankful, appreciative and counting my blessings, but somehow, it just feels lethargic being in the state I'm in right now. Well, at least one buddy got pissed and wont be visiting here soon.
I guess it's kinda like midlife crisis, where you have a career, but you don't seem to have one. Where you have money, but it never seems to be enough to make ends meet, where you have friends but they're never near. Where you have a job, but have nothing to do. Sometimes, I just wished I was in the rat race. That way, I wouldn't have to think and I would be so bogged up with work that these things wouldn't even cross my mind.
I read a book which advocated that we should spend time writing what we want in life to remind us of the things that are really important to us. Try this little exercise. Pick up a pen and paper, write down 10 things that you want most in life. You'd probably realise that filling the 10 items isn't easy at all. Well, unless you list ferarri, peugeot, mercedes.. etc. which shows tons about your character development. I guess the key thing is, most of us either want the same things, family, security, early retirement... or we don't know what we want at all... I guess that when you age reaches the big 3, you'd start to think where you're heading and whether the ship can still be steared away from where you're heading.
Me, I'm glad I have great family and friends and an understanding companion. Life sucks, but with these people around me, it sure sucks less....

Chinglish?

Met this couple at the lift. They were talking about a colleague who kept saying "yeah su" (in mandarin) which translated meant Jesus. After numerous times of using "yeah su", they finally realised that what he intended to say was "yeh su" which meant coconut tree... I remember a cantonese movie at which a lady was being interrogated by the police. The police were baffled at her statement as she referred to "yam mou" (which meant pubic hair in cantonese) multiple times. One of them finally pointed out that maybe she was referring to "yam mau" which meant conspiracy.
Then there are the language translators which on surface seem to be quite alright. One friend asked me in cantonese whether "lei kum man yau mou hoong" translated as "do you have breasts tonight". After some probing, I realise that he direct translated the phrase from mandarin "ni zhing wan yeo mei yeo koong" which meant 'are you free tonight'!
One other guy who was trying to answer my query on whether he went pubbing, said "yat tim tim" in cantonese. "Ah? What does small dots have to do with pubbing?". And yet again, it came from "yi dian dian" in mandarin for 'sometimes'.
To top the language barrier problems up, I tried explaining a robbery by using the word "chiang jien" which meant 'rape' instead of 'chiang jie' which meant rob......

Farewell tune..

A senior management person in our company was scheduled to leave the company. Being proactive, some of my colleagues decided that we should sing a song to bid her farewell. And so, they arranged rehearsal sessions for us to sing. For the past few days some of us were exempted, as we were attending a course elsewhere. The course ended this morning and we had to return to the office. At 4.30pm, the rehearsals were supposed to begin. One of the colleagues, wanting to have some company join him for the singing went around asking ppl to go for rehearsals. A colleague reminded me that it was timely for a toilet break. Another rushed out for a meeting. One colleague hid beside the cubicle wall. Me? I was trying to hide in an empty cubicle. After getting caught for well "trying to arrange papers in the empty cubicle", someone else shouted that it was time to sing! A colleague hid under the table, while I went further in and used a chair to shield whatever I could. I guess they would've finished singing now, but safety first... I'm leaving before they decide to have more rehearsals! hehe

Arrrrgghhhh....another parking fine!!!!!



Went out for dinner with some of the guys at this very far place, and not being too familiar with the place, I parked my car somewhere near the shop houses. While we were having dinner, I suddenly remembered that I didn't put a parking coupon. And being an optimist, a buddy assured me that those parking attendants don't visit here at night... So, we had dinner, and sure enough, when I reached my car, there and behold was this little parking fine...
I remember an incident where 4 parking attendants were grouping at one car park and every 1 minute, they would take turns walking around and throwing summons to any car that did not have a coupon or had it placed too early or is expired. If any industry in this country have improved its efficiency, it would be the parking fine industry...
If only they handled other issues as effectively as the parking fines..

Err....French? German?..

Went for a forum today... lots of speakers talking about how you affect change and sharing philosophy. Initially, they had someone influential start the forum. Then, they proceeded with the Q&A sessions and asked if anyone had any queries. Just then this guy got up and posed a question. Ironic thing is that his question could not have been any less politically correct and being curious of what he intended to ask,I opened my ears wide. Actually had a hard time understanding what the heck the guy was trying to say! Then, thinking that this could've been a one off occurence, two other guys got up, did the same thing, and again, it made me wonder if they took english lessons from some Ivy League University that had a language of its own. Don't people use simple english anymore? During the tea break session, I asked one of my colleagues who those people were, and sure thing, those were scholars.... but that being said, it still feels funny to hear their politically correct questions and the equally politically correct responses. Maybe I opened my ears too wide....

The bridge troll's adventure...


In an island, a bridge troll, that newly migrated from his bridge to a new hut, was invited to attend a function to celebrate the village's 1st anniversary formation. Being new to the village, the bridge troll attended the village celebration for the entire day. During the celebrations, the villagers grouped into groups and went around performing village rites. Groups of villagers had to compete in aboroginal bonding activities and challenge each other to see which group is supreme. The troll, feeling awkward, found himself looking at the sky and thinking how nice it would be to have a cup of coffee with other bridge trolls under his bridge. But then again, in the future, after the troll is more familiar around the huts, perhaps the troll would be familiar with the huts and would then become a villager. Or perhaps, the villagers would all become trolls.... sigh, wonder what the other trolls are doing..

@#%$^$# door....

Whilst having refreshments at a talk today, I decided to get myself a cup of coffee outside the function room... I walked out and walked past a corridor and realised that the exit was way back the other way. Feeling sheepish, I went to the exit, pretended that I went to the other corridor on purpose and proceeded to open the door. As I tried to get out, I realised that the door wouldn't budge. I exerted more force and still the door didn't move. Some people in the function room started to look out and notice me. Just then a colleague shouted out,"press the exit button"... and I realised that more than half the room was looking at me. Deciding to exit asap I pressed the button, pushed as hard as I could and then tried to exit. Still, the @#$%@@ door wouldn't budge. Then, I heard my boss shout out,"you have to pull the door in first, press the button, then push it outwards. The door is a bit cranky". Without looking back, I pushed the button, got out of the door and finally got my machine dispensed cappucino.

Where's the keys?


After starting work for a couple of days, I was feeling the lethargy from travelling to work by public transport. The season parking label for my company is not available yet, and parking in the city costs at least $12 a day. So the best option was to travel by public transport.
When I reached my apartment block, as usual, I checked the letter box, then took a lift to the 10th floor. Upon reaching the 10th floor, I found my keys missing! Thinking that I must've left it in the mailbox, I rushed downstairs to get them. When I reached there, the keys were not there. So I rushed back into the lift, went back to the 10th floor and searched almost everywhere.
Finally, I decided to give the ground floor another look. Just then, I remembered throwing away an advert slip that I collected from the mailbox. I looked into the garbage bin beside the lift, and viola, there, in the bin, was my keys!

Guests..









There was once a Bunny who hopped by to stay over at a Dragons lair. It has been years since the Dragon got to know the Bunny and the Bunny had always been bullied by the big Dragon. Knowing that the Bunny had a bad sense of direction, the Dragon set out to find the Bunny. The Bunny as usual, got lost. After searching for a couple of rounds, the Dragon instinctively spotted the Bunny. You see, this bunny had wierd features. It had a huge muscular body and small legs due to his erratic gym routine. Finally, the two friends met up and the Dragon brought the Bunny to his lair. At the Dragons lair, the Bunny exclaimed that he wasn't really interested in gaming. However, as soon as the Dragon switched on his DMC3, the Bunny got hooked. Even when World Cup came on TV, the Bunny was more interested in the Dragon's entertainment system. So the night went by and the Dragon and Bunny reminisced on old times when the Bunny was scrawnier and the same size as the Dragon. Though the moment was brief and the Bunny had to meet other female Bunnies the next day, the Dragon had a great time.








A couple of weeks later, a Bug turned up near the country which the Dragon resided. The Bug had a wierd obsession for soup. And the long distance travelling to a nearby kingdom to get soup wasn't going to stop the Bug from getting it. When the Bug reached the yonder kingdom, to his dismay, he found that the soup hut was shut down. The Bug, feeling defeated, went back to his rented Bug lair. Seeing that the poor bug had no soup, the Dragon decided to pay the bug a visit. When the Dragon reached the bug's lair, the Bug brought out a set of Magic-al cards. The Dragon, being well prepared, unleashed his set of Magic-al cards as well. They both battled for four rounds and at the end, it was a draw. The bug was really estatic that he drawed with the Dragon and both agreed that they would meet again to duel at the Bug's rented lair the next time the Bug comes to visit.









The Chicken went awol after he got his first chick.

Let's Celebrate the Day... the Day...the Dayyy...

Funny thing how the World Cup brings people together... to be frank, some of us (e.g. mua) are "soccer challenged"... before Germany 2006, Argentina is a country... so is England...now all of a sudden, we're staying up late every night glued to the TV set, getting our adrenaline pumped up during the match and risking looking like a zombie the next morning.
Was on my way out for lunch when I met someone who was a so-so acquaintance. Having nothing to talk to him about, I brought up Spain-France match and lamented how dissapointing it was for Spain to be downed 3-1 by France... just then his face lighted up and all of a sudden, we were chatting like long lost friends! This really reminds me of what someone told me of the beauty of being a kid: "You like Coke? I like Coke Too! We're best friends!" ....

Job woes..

During work,in the middle of a meeting, I got a call from someone from a company I was applying to. That someone was asking me when I'd be free to go through some details. After the conversation, I went back feeling happy that I had a good offer. Just then, a colleague brought up that there were rumors that 700 letters were being prepared by the HR Dept and that the Division I was in was likely to be retrenched! Arrrgghh... why is it always so ironic, early dun say, late dun say, I plan to move, then only say...
Add salt to the wound, the previous day, someone brought up that working for the company I was applying to was said to be very stressful... sigh... all the funny news come in all of a sudden...
But, not to despair, I dun think I'd change my mind... nothing seems to be worse than the current situation I'm in... so good or bad, I'd still be moving on to a better place... Guess I shouldn't think too much... The more I think the worse it gets, so better not think...hehehe

Ai Piah Jia Eh Ia

Hehehe..can't believe I'm surfing for this song..

Back in 2000, I can remember myself wondering why people use words like "wahlau" and "chialat"...I can faintly remember me telling myself not to catch on to this Singapore type of slang... that was back in 2000....

Now I'm sitting at home trying to find the song


...maybe I really need some motivation..hehehahaha

For peace of mind..

Went to the temple near my office a few days back. When we got there, we were shocked that the temple was closed at 7pm. There at the entrance was a sign indicating working hours from 9am to 6pm. So, we got our bags, headed home, and planned for the next trip the following day. When we got there in the afternoon, it was quite a surprise that lots of people were there and everyone was either carrying a jos stick or some 'chims' (wooden sticks used to tell your fortune). Instinctively, we each took one and started praying for something that was on our minds. We had peace of mind when we left, and none of the things that were in the temple - the joss sticks, the lucky charm, the 'chims', cost us a cent! Donations are voluntary of course and we did donate, but knowing that the not-so-well-off could also come and pray and not be required to give anything is a nice thought.. The following week, we made our trip there again. This time I took a 'chim' and asked for something less noble - my career. What I got was a medium 'chim' which asked me to "Don't worry, eat, drink and sleep. Success follows". Hmm...That is great! That shouldn't be medium it should be very very good! So, those who want to drink tea this week, pls call me yah!! I'll be sleeping in the office..

Job Hazard

Just got a new project for widening of an existing road. One of the constraints we faced was a cemetary that was at edge of the road. While having a discussion with some members of the project team, one guy brought up that there were groups of cyclists that like to visit that road...one in the morning and one at night. "The former, you have to ask the workers to be a little bit careful. For the latter, just make sure your guys are not easily scared." I was pondering what he meant by that, until one colleague burst out in laughter and said, "You mean those cyclist got no leg wan rite?"
Also recall an incident when I started work near this shopping complex. My site office was abutting a forest. Half way through a meeting, we heard a worker squeal. And then the foreman came up and told us that they found a skeleton hanging at a tree!
Talk about job hazards...

Some sound advice..

"You will receive sound advice from an unexpected source".. that was what my zodiac read yesterday. Didn't turn out yesterday, but it got delayed till today instead. As I was walking along the linkway, I saw a senior staff from my former department. Seeing that we seldom exchanged much words, we greeted each other casually and as I was passing by, he asked if I was doing ok in my new department. Being sour from the past ordeal, I told him that there's nothing to be happy about being in the new place. His response somewhat caught me aback. "Sometimes, when we face a difficult situation, the best way to deal with it is treat it as one of life's challenge. Often than not, we end up laughing it off some years later and wonder why we found something so simple to be so difficult to handle." He added by recalling his first job as an enforcer.. someone who tears down people's houses. "The key is to be able to tear down a house and still have the house owner thank you for doing it!" At that point, I looked at him and wondered what he actually did. He went on by explaining that "The easiest way to do something is to help people and to remember that you're always learning. No one wants their houses torn down. And people understand that sometimes, the people doing the actual work may not be the ones who ordered their homes to be torn down." "So, as long as you try your best to help them, be it helping to find them alternative shelter or directing them to the right people to seek help, you'd find that most people reciprocate with gratitude." "You can't learn people skills like this in expensive seminars or talks, so forget that you're in a difficult situation, and just tell yourself that you'd be able to learn no matter where you are. Then you'd be alright!" Well, needless to say, I guess it woke me up a little. The self pity I was feeling waned. I felt a new sense of meaning to what I was doing. Walking back to my cubicle, I wondered why I'm always blessed with wonderful and nice people around me whenever I need them..... :)

When you just know something is wrong the moment you click on the send button

Was talking to my other half when I recalled this incident when I was typing an e-mail to a friend. We were on the topic of business opportunities.. and half way through the e-mail exchange, we were discussing about pumping in capital to start a business... just then, my friend exclaimed that she had no capital to start anything.. trying to be supportive, I replied by e-mail telling her, "If you can run the place, we can pool some capital and start something. I can be your sleeping partner", and clicked on the send button. Just then, it dawned on me that something was wrong.... I leave the interpretation to you..... Lucky thing, that friend didn't realise the pun and replied in a normal way that the biz was too difficult to begin with....phew!

Paranoia..

Talk about being paranoid.. was at a meeting room helping a colleague prepare for his presentation. Just then, my supervisor, who was standing beside me, turns around and sees this chart pinned to the wall... the next reaction was spontaneous! He grabbed his glasses from his pocket and started staring intently at the pictures...My colleague, who was preparing the projector, came over and started staring at the same chart.... I was the next looking at the small boxes and the names below them... "Nope, nothing new.. outdated organisation chart..." And as spontaneously as we started staring at the chart, we went back to preparations. After the presentation, some managers gathered near the wall. And instinctively, a manager spotted the same chart we did. Guess what, four managers went towards the chart and repeated what we just did!!
This really shows how stable things have become back at the office.....

Singlish...

An excerpt of an e-mail I got from an ex-colleague working in a foreign country:

My attempts at speaking good English have failed miserably.
It was not too difficult for the first few days to pretend that I was truly English educated but once I got focused on the job, Singlish expressions were just too direct and practical.
I have tried the following expressions during meetings and it always resulted in blank stares or laughs:

"Where got?"
"Nahbe"
"Can or not?"
"Sure or not?"
"Cannot be wah""Got meh?"

A new start...

First day at a new department!! Still feeling a little strange in this new place after spending such a long time in my ex department... Lady luck isn't on my side though.. guess 'fan tai sui' comes in many forms:
a) First news was that I've been posted under a slave driver....
b) Got pulled in a meeting before the seat was even warmed..
c) Today was my first day and already tons of projects have been assigned to me..
d) My colleagues use the word 'challenge' to replace 'impossible' and 'inhuman'...
e) Each of the projects I got have 'challenging' preset deadlines...
f) First news I got was that the past two people who sat in my cubicle have left the department..
g) The only people left in the department after 7pm are the colleagues from my team...
h) Nobody seems to know what I'm supposed to do...
Now where did I save that copy of my resume?....

Hey! It's Valentine's Day!!








To all visitors, Happy Valentine's Day!!! Got a Ravnica Deck Box (yep, the one with the novel, 6 booster packs, 2 card boxes, a random Pro tour Player card, 2 card boxes, a life counter, players guide, 40-land cards, etc.) for Valentines, so I'll cut this post short. Have to spend some time opening my gift! hehehe...

Moving out...

Have been packing up, shredding papers, preparing handover notes for the past week. Frankly speaking, moving out from my current department and shifting to another is not a pleasant experience. I mean, this is not the first time I have shifted departments. 3 years ago, I requested for a shift, and back then, it made sense for me to move out. This time round, I've requested not to be shifted, but ironically, I am not given a choice. All in all, for the past 3 years, I've made a couple of buddies here. I guess I've also become quite attached to the job, the people, the friends and even my bosses here in this department. Starting off in the department was difficult, but after adapting to this environment, I guess I'm starting to miss this place. Consolation is, I'd probably get to meet some new people, get closer to those I already know and I'd have 3 departments of buddies to share things with! The people in my first deparment were great. Had 'lou hei' with 5 of my buddies just last Thursday. The second department is swell too. I can at least single out one great buddy which I would make an effort to keep in touch with. Let's just keep my fingers crossed and hope that things go well for a third time. After all, this is my second transfer and as the cantonese say, "hou see sing seong"!! (good things come in doubles)....

Getting Old...

Today, after work and dinner, I got home and was preparing to countdown till 12am beside my pc, waiting to wish my best buddy a happy birthday. Whislt waiting, I was actually lamenting on what I should say to him and what type of reaction I would get from him. So I waited till about 11am, and all of a sudden I receive an sms from him telling me that he was depressed because his hamster is in hamster heaven. So I told myself, be patient... wait a little while more.. 'I know you're sleepy, but just a few minutes more, wish him a Happy Birthday, and then you can sleep' . So I logged in to blogger, posted a post, then waited a few more minutes before I called. Enthusiastically, I pick up the phone and hoping to surprise him, gave him a call. No one answered, so I decided to send him an sms instead. After the sms, to my surprise, he returned the sms. The sms read "Hello..My bday not here yet la...lousy bro.. it's at least a week away!!!

Uncle.. excuse me ler..

After dinner, we decided to hop by the local lottery shop. Surprisingly there was a huge crowd, but no one queueing to buy lottery. We made our way to the queue line which was arranged in folds, and there at the start of the queue was an uncle blocking the way. I tried to get past him and asked him to please 'excuse me'. Just then, the uncle turned around and smiled. He looked at me, giggled and said, "nobody queue la, can just go straight the other way". Turning back, I realised that I could have just walked straight to the counter instead of walking in the folded queue line. Sheepishly, I made my way through the various bends with no one in the line, but with everyone else staring at me wondering why I am using the queue line!! Finally, when we reached the counter, two uncles that walked straight to the counter was in line in front of us. We followed the queue at one counter not knowing that the queue was meant for horse racing. Another uncle behind me tapped on my shoulder and said ' eh, buy toto that side can la' pointing at another counter with no queue! We couldn't help but laughed all the way from the toto shop up until we reached the car. Man, the patrons of the shop must think that we have never patronised a lottery shop before!!

Wild Rumors...

This is one of those weeks which I really dread going to work.. Having to prepare for the departmental audit single handedly and handing over all your blood and sweat projects is bad enough, having to listen to a whole load of rumors is worse... not that I dislike being a bit 'pat kua' (translated: inquisitive), but having too much information is at times not good. "So my boss is moving out? So someone else is taking over him? What? His boss is also moving out? So his bosses boss is also moving out? So someone is taking over his bosses boss position in the company? I can go on for hours!!! By the time I had enough info, I had to conclude that perhaps the entire company has gone bonkers and they've decided to play merry go round. Then the next wave came... "So your boss resigned? So your bosses boss also resigned? Say what?? I resigned??? How come I don't know about that??? You mean according to your reliable sources, I resigned, and you don't believe me when I tell you I did not resign because your source is more reliable than me???... bummer..
I ended the day with yet another piece of info that my colleagues boss, which is a dear friend of mine, had also resigned. Well, if you can't beat em, join em... my last e-mail to him read, "Heard that you are leaving... mind taking me along? I can't stand it anymore!!".

Turning 30..

Turned officially 30 today. Went to the office, worked the entire day, and up to the stage when I reached my other half's office, nothing seemed close to it being a Birthday. Work was hectic today. And to add on to the problems, I get told that my transfer to another department will be official by 20th Feb 2006, which is two weeks away. Then I had someone screaming my head off for my boss assigning something I was handling to him and countless people sighing at me when I tell them that audit is coming. Well, it's all part of the job and having a hectic day isn't that bad actually. The moment I saw my other half at the entrance of her office walking towards the car with a cake in one hand and a present in the other, I knew I was going to have a very Happy Birthday! Nonetheless, I complained the entire way home about how hectic the day was, which bosses I had to put up with, my impending transfer, career woes etc. We had a nice dinner at Spizzas, went home and had Prima Deli hazelnut cake, opened presents, saw some tv, and when it was late, I sent her home. It just feels nice to know that my next 60 or 70 birthday's wont be spent alone. Tonight, I’ll sit back, have another piece of cake, look at the stars through the small window of my room, and wonder how lucky I actually am!

Chasing fortune..










Back at the office, I received an e-mail from my immediate supervisor, my ex-supervisor to be exact. He was asking around if anyone of us knew when the Hong Bao Draw was. In Singapore, every Chinese New Year, the local lottery or toto promises a lucky draw worth $10 million. The queues for the toto stores would build up and tons of people would queue to buy a lottery ticket. I was contemplating on how much to invest this round and my sup replied that this time round I should put in at least $1,000! I mean, life is a wierd thing. Touching 30, we've reached a stage where we no longer look forward to the next outing at the disco, or the next Magic game with friends. Conversations now revolve around how we can make more money, or where is the next best place to invest. People tell me that buying the local sweepstakes or lottery is like buying hope. People need hope. And in a place where competition is abundance and challenges are aplenty, I guess the toto counter does play its part in keeping people's sanity intact. We may loose that $2 or $10, but there's always the next draw right? heh.. As long as it keeps people away from hardcore gambling or vices with worst consequences, I guess spending some money in the local lottery isn't that bad after all. So I've made up my mind. I'll invest $17.50 for 5 sets of system 7 this time round! Wish me luck!

A good samaritan...

One thing you don't find nowadays is courtesy. During my trip back to Malaysia, I had breakfast at a dim sum restaurant. We were looking around for seats, but all of the seats in the restaurant were taken. Just then, a table was cleared and there was this Uncle with his daughter and granddaughter waiting at the table. He saw us and immediately offered to share the table with us. There were six seats on the round table, so we took half the table. On top of that, he asked and offered to order tea for us as he was ordering tea for his family too. Then when we wanted to order food, he called for the waiter and helped us with the orders. He then explained that his family frequents the dim sum restaurant quite frequently and hence he is quite familiar with the staff of the restaurant. His daughter jokes that he was so free that he occasionally helps with the dishes and bowls even though he is a customer and not a waiter. We finished the meal, paid the bill and went off feeling a bit wierd actually. After staying for almost 10 years in Singapore, I just am not really used to that kind of courtesy. I mean, back in Singapore, to not have the waiter or the cab driver curse at you is a blessing. I do honestly wish the Uncle a healthy and good life for he reminded me that courtesy still exists!

OMG!! Die la! Train coming!!














Had a shock while driving this morning. I was driving along Choa Chu Kang Rd toward the junction leading to Upper Bukit Timah Rd. I was in a traffic jam, and just before reaching the junction, there is a yellow box and traffic signal for a railway crossing for KTM. Seeing that the car in front of me was moving forward and that the traffic light was green, I took a quick glance and saw that there was sufficient space in front for both our cars to move forward. The car in front moved past the yellow box, but just as I crossed it, he purposely stops a good distance away from the car in front of him, leaving me with insufficient space to clear the remaining quarter of my car past the yellow box! Just then, the traffic signal turns red and the signal for the train approaching appears and the idiot in front of me refuses to surge forward even though there was a huge gap in front of him! I could've gotten that quarter of my car knocked off by the train! Luckily the traffic signal at the junction turned green and the cars started moving. Sometimes, I really don't get the rationale behind these drivers' minds. Is it pleasurable getting others into trouble just because you're inconsiderate? To the driver in front of me this morning, I seriously hope you don't have kids. Cause they'll all have no backside!

Eh, I change title leh!










Same conversation for months and nobody seems bored by this topic. Some idiot made a decision that all our titles had to be improved to match the industry. So Engineer becomes Executive Engineer, Manager becomes Director, Driver becomes Senior Driver etc. Pay same, work same, title si beh hiong. Then they pass more work to you and they say, "eh, now you executive leh, have to work harder and do more leh". WTF, salary same, take home pay same, CPF same, dick head also same but title si beh hiong must do more. Next thing they become innovative and give us title 'God' and then we all do miracles no need salary eat grass and work!!

Fan Tai Sui and the Year of the Dog

I was enjoying the day when I passed by a colleagues cubicle. There and then, my colleague passed me an article regarding on the 2006 zodiac. Not that I'm really superstitious, but being Chinese I hold on to my roots to belief in a minimal amount of the zodiac. Just then, my colleague pointed out that the 'Dragon' is not going to have a good year this year. "Fan Tai Sui, better be careful" my colleague exclaimed. After reading what the article wrote, my streak of happiness just fell like withering leaves. To make matters worse, my colleague pulls out a second article from another newspaper and said, "Eh, this one also say the same thing leh!" I'm not superstitious, but psychologically speaking - there goes my year.











PS: If you're a Dragon, forget this article 5 seconds after reading it. Finding the zodiac and reading it will only bring you misery for the rest of the year!! ;P